By Greg DeVries
The Baylor women’s soccer team will travel to Denton and San Antonio this weekend on their second road trip of the season.
The Bears protected their house last weekend against Nebraska and McNeese State, and they will look to do the same against the University of North Texas and The University of Texas at San Antonio.
North Texas started the season 6-0, though it has yet to play a team ranked in the top 25.
The Mean Green has put up good stats, however, and the Bears are not expecting an easy game.
“UNT is a hard team. We tied them last time,” junior defender Kat Ludlow said. “They’re a good team. They fight hard, and we fight hard, so it’s going to be a good match. It’s always a good match against them.”
Baylor hopes to continue its recent successes that came at home.
Last weekend, the Bears allowed just three shots in their two shutouts and moved to 5-1 on the year.
“[We have been] chipping away through the season, improving on our weaknesses. [The team] responded well to the loss against Long Beach [State], but Long Beach was a great team,” head coach Marci Jobson said. “[We] came back and responded well and had a good weekend.”
UTSA is a bit of a different story. The Roadrunners are just 1-4 on the season and are 1-2 at home. Ludlow stressed the importance of beating other Texas teams.
“Any Texas team is a Texas rivalry,” Ludlow said. “We just want to be the better team in Texas. If we’re playing a Louisiana team, it’s just different. Especially since [Texas teams] are so close. We know girls on the team more often, so it’s always a good fight.”
Both teams play a very physical style similar to the way the Bears play.
“We work on defense every day in practice,” junior midfielder Karlee Summey said. “We work on our pressure every day. For us, that’s the key to our success. If we can’t play defense, then we won’t do well in games. That’s what we’re focusing on first and foremost. I think it has worked out for us.”
Two players for the Bears have caught fire recently.
One is Ludlow, who was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, following her goal and assist over the weekend.
The other is junior midfielder Karlee Summey, who recorded two goals over the weekend, despite playing just 76 minutes.
“I don’t think I’ve done anything different,” Summey said. “Definitely in practice we have been working on my shooting. I think our whole team has been on fire lately. Our pressure has been working really well for us, and I think that has just kind of come together as a unit. We have been scoring tons of goals as a team.”
Jobson said the team can continue to improve before conference play starts on Sept. 21.
“We’re just trying to continue to improve on what we have already been doing from day one and just getting better at those things,” Jobson said. “And then working a little on [our] weaknesses, trying to get better at those things too.”
The Bears will battle North Texas at 7 p.m. today in Denton.
The game against the Roadrunners will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday in San Antonio.